If you feel you have a knack for cosmetics combined with a passion for making people look their best, ultimately leading to them feeling their best, then the career of a beauty therapist may be suited to you.
To be a success in the beauty industry, you do need to have good interpersonal skills, as well as being knowledgeable in the business aspects involved. The career isn’t just about making people look and feel great. Ultimately, you’ll be spending time with your clients, talking with them, listening to their needs, and advising on different aspects of make-up, skin conditioning, toning, and various applications.
To do all that efficiently, you need excellent organisational skills to keep your appointment book running to schedule. You cannot rush through the treatments when things fall behind either. Besides applying and advising on treatments, there’s a real need to craft your sales technique, as most salons will require their beauticians to cross sell products. There’s also the chance to earn commissions on the products you sell, helping you add that bit extra to your payslip.
The best part of the sales aspect is that even if you hate the idea of sales, it’s actually easy in the beauty profession as you’ll have knowledge of each product from the services you provide, and your clients are already interested in them anyway, which always makes the sales process so much more simplified. With so many fields within the beauty sector, it’s rare to find yourself offering a wide variety of services.
The best approach is to find a sub-sector within beauty therapy that you really love providing the service, narrow your career path down to a speciality service, and really work to master your craft.
Before you can practice beauty therapy you must undertake some formal training and gain recognised qualifications. The most common qualification is the NVQ in Beauty Therapy.
The first stage of beauty therapist training is to take the NVQ Beauty Therapy Level 2 which offers an introduction to beauty therapy and treatments. This stage is designed for beginners and will cover subjects such as manicure, pedicure, waxing, make up and customer care/ health and safety. The learning consists of a mixture of theory and practical and is divided in to 9 units which are compulsory.
There are also a further 3 optional units that you can study if you so please. Once you have completed the Level 2 NVQ you can progress on to the NVQ Beauty Therapy Level 3. This level looks in to more complex treatments and aspects of the beauty business in general. In particular you will learn massage, electrical body / facial treatments, anatomy and tanning as well as the behind the scene aspects of running a beauty business including; dealing with finances, targets and stock. Again this level will be a mixture of theoretical and practical study. For those who then choose there is the Beauty Therapy NVQ Level 3, which you can start once you have passed the previous two stages.
The level 3 NVQ goes in to further detail than the previous two NVQ’s and on completion should leave you in a position whereby you are able to undertake full time employment in a beauty salon (or similar). There is also a level 3 NVQ in massage for those who wish to pursue this career path. I addition to NVQ’s in Beauty Therapy there are also many other qualifications and courses available ranging from one day courses in nail art through to distant learning beauty courses.
The route that you choose is purely an individual choice and will primarily depend upon what your chosen career path is.
To complete each of the first two levels of NVQ will take about 13 weeks studying 1 day per week. Stage 3 will take approximately 5 months studying 3 days per week. Other qualifications will vary according to the individual course. Some courses offered are just day courses whereas other can last as long as the NVQ courses. With most of the courses you must be prepared to spend some additional time away from the classroom studying and practicing the skills that you have learned in the classroom.
The entry requirements vary according to the establishment and the course on offer. Generally for a course run by a college you must first have at least 5 Grade A-C GCSE’s including English and Maths. To study Beauty Therapy NVQ levels 2 and 3 you must first have successfully completed the previous stage NVQ’s. Many one day training courses do not require any qualifications in order to attend.
Again this varies according to the course. If you take all 3 levels of the NVQ you will be in a position where you have the right qualifications to work full time in a beauty salon. By the end of the course you should be able to perform manicures, pedicures, waxing, tanning, skin treatments and massage. You should also know the theory behind the techniques you have learned including understanding the anatomy of the regions of the body that you perform treatments on. Plus you should also be competent in the aspects involved with running a beauty salon.
The beauty industry has undergone rapid growth in recent years due to people’s desire to look good. As such the demand for beauty therapists has increase and now is as good a time as any to apply for one of the numerous beauty therapist jobs available.
Once you have completed your beauty therapist training you will be in a position to star applying for beauty therapist jobs. You will find that you have many options available to you including working as an employee in a salon and also becoming a self-employed beauty therapist.
The route that you choose is a personal one. Some people prefer the security offered by being an employee, whereas others will prefer the freedom that self-employment brings.
The amount that a beauty therapist can earn varies according to several factors including: qualifications, experience, responsibilities associated with the role and location.
In addition to any qualifications that are required to become a successful beauty therapist you will also need to posses some of the following attributes. You should be hard-working, willing to listen and learn new things, be good at communicating with customers and fellow staff members and you must also be prepared to work unsociable hours (such as evenings and Saturdays)to fit in with your clients needs.